Publication Type

PhD Dissertation

Publication Date

12-2014

Abstract

People in some parts of the world find positive emotions more desirable than others. What accounts for this variability? We predicted that happiness would be valued less under conditions where the behaviors that happiness promotes would be less beneficial. We analyzed international survey data and United Nations voting records and found that happiness was valued relatively less in environments that had been historically pathogen-rich. Using a series of experimental studies, we showed that people who were experimentally primed by the threat of pathogens judged happiness in others less favorably and found happiness less appropriate. Our findings contribute to research on the function of positive emotions by providing insight into the boundary conditions under which happiness is deemed desirable.

Keywords

Emotion, culture, pathogen threats, happiness, subjective well-being, life satisfaction

Degree Awarded

PhD in Psychology

Discipline

Social Psychology

Supervisor(s)

Scollon, Christie

First Page

1

Last Page

53

Publisher

Singapore Management University

City or Country

Singapore

Copyright Owner and License

Author

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Available for download on Friday, December 01, 2017

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